The NFL is like theater because it has two faces once the regular season ends.
Some teams have smiling or comedy faces because they are going to the playoffs.
On the other hand, some teams wear the tragedy mask after another disappointing campaign.
However, there should be a third mask that portrays wailing, and it’s for franchises that don’t have much direction before the following season.
Several squads would fall under this category, but three NFL teams qualify the most because they have many questions to answer.
3. New York Jets
The New York Jets hired Robert Saleh to improve their defense, but to meager results.
They gave up the most yards (397.6) and most points (29.6) per game.
Their offense isn’t much of a help either, averaging the fifth-fewest points per game during the regular season (18.2)
The team ended their 2021 campaign losing five of their last six games.
How 'bout a hug instead? pic.twitter.com/klGZ9LLNZ8
— New York Jets (@nyjets) January 9, 2022
Their only victory during that stretch was a five-point win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
That winning margin accurately represents their other victories because seven points was their most comfortable lead throughout their four wins.
Therefore, there was a possibility that they ended up winless if the breaks went to the other team.
Likewise, during his rookie season, Zach Wilson did little to prove that he’s the Jets’ franchise quarterback.
He threw more interceptions (11) than touchdowns (8) and ranks second-worst in quarterback rating at 28.5.
Zach Wilson before his injury had 4 total TDs & 9 INTs
Since returning, Wilson has 7 total TDs & 2 INTs
— Harrison Glaser (@NYJetsTFMedia) January 2, 2022
Other than those players, their roster is such a mess that the 2022 NFL Draft won’t be enough to address all their concerns.
2. Carolina Panthers
The 2021 NFL season could have been a total disaster for the Carolina Panthers, if not for the sudden rush of energy provided by Cam Newton’s return.
His presence helped defeat the Arizona Cardinals in Week 10 but offered nothing else.
The Panthers ended the season with seven straight losses to close at 5-12.
That collapse comes from a team that won their first three games when Christian McCaffrey was still 100 percent.
The current state of the Carolina Panthers in 30 seconds. pic.twitter.com/saG8q3JQ2a
— Patrick 🎱 (@Baller85son) January 9, 2022
Unfortunately, their versatile running back’s performance or lack thereof dictated their fate.
That said, relying on one source on offense will not help the Panthers get past division rivals Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints, and Atlanta Falcons.
Uncertainty also looms for Carolina at the game’s most important position because Newton isn’t at MVP level anymore while Sam Darnold is a turnover machine.
The Panthers can turn over the starting role to P.J. Walker, but he’s not much of an upgrade.
The 2015 carolina panthers…
My how far have we fallen in 6 years pic.twitter.com/gAqDzkOcc9
— I am NOT that guy (@SF_BRUINNATION) January 9, 2022
Rumor has it that the franchise will try to trade for Deshaun Watson.
But after seeing how Carolina’s campaign unfolded, he might not be enamored to play for the Panthers anymore.
If Matt Rhule ends up coaching for one more year, it will be his last because he will have another losing record.
1. New York Giants
Football in New York City is terrible, and the Giants are somehow worse than the Jets.
It’s hard to find a starting point for their misery because there are too many.
They ended the season with six consecutive losses and had games during that stretch wherein they scored only nine, seven, six, and three points.
Mike Glennon wouldn’t help them much because he lost all his games as the starter.
A sign of difficult times for the Giants’ offense as they run a QB sneak from their own 4-yard line on 3rd & 9 from this formation. pic.twitter.com/zFHSHsJikA
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 9, 2022
Their offense was a mess all season, finishing with the second-fewest total yards (287.3) and points (15.2) per game.
Prized offseason acquisition Kenny Golladay could have been a big help but finished the season with zero touchdown catches.
Rookie wide receiver Kadarius Toney, the Giants’ first-round selection in the 2021 draft, also had no touchdown receptions.
Fan wearing a paper bag spotted at the Giants game today. pic.twitter.com/EhRN0Z6fPw
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) January 9, 2022
Worst, head coach Joe Judge had the nerve to proclaim that their team is in a better situation and that he’s proud of the culture they’ve built.
Sadly, the 2022 season might not be enough to turn their fortunes around.